Hey there, Fools. I've summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community once again to highlight a few of Thursday's biggest winners among the stocks with top ratings of four or five stars:


Yesterday's Gain



Nokia (NYSE:NOK)


Melco Crown Entertainment


Quicksilver Resources


Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B)


There's a reason I selected those notable gainers, as opposed to other winners making noise on Thursday, like one-star stock Eastman Kodak. Stocks go up all the time, but unless you were able to predict the pop, what does it matter?  

Our community of more than 145,000 CAPS Fools considers its high-star stocks the most likely to outperform the market.

Written in the (five) stars?
For example, 98.5% of the 261 All-Star members who've rated Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Ebix have a bullish opinion of the stock. Just last month, one of those top Fools, JaysRage, highlighted the stock's recent weakness as a prime opportunity to pounce:

A successful, growing technology company that is trading at roughly 10x forward earnings after the recent pullback. There is no real reason for the pullback, except for a piling on of the short interest. ... The price has over-extended itself downward and allowed an opportunity to buy into a great growth story at a nice price.

Consistent with that call, shares of Ebix popped yesterday after the insurance industry software specialist announced strong cash flow growth in the fourth quarter and the resumption of its share buyback.

The bullish lesson?
Learn to think like a business owner, not a stock trader. Violent price swings aren't always easy on the stomach, but as CAPS' JaysRage understands, they provide a rare chance to increase the ownership of your companies at highly attractive prices. In Warren Buffett's words, "Only for short-term investors and market timers is a correction not an opportunity."

And now for the losers ...
Of course, winning isn't everything in the stock market. Here are five of Thursday's biggest decliners with one- or two-star ratings:  


Yesterday's Loss

Motorola (NYSE:MOT)


JetBlue Airways


Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC)






While yesterday's drop in highly rated Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) may have caught our community off guard, low-ranked stocks are fully expected to fall hard.

Did CAPS call the fall?
This past summer, for instance, CAPS member sdowst had some tough things to say about Motorola's top dogs:

Some of the worst management in the history of the company. Not only are they inept in their execution, but they suffer from a serious lack of product imagination. Icahn should have won his proxy battle. Maybe then the current management team would have been tossed out and replaced with managers tuned to building stockholder value.

In line with that bearishness, shares of the mobile handset giant plunged yesterday after a disappointing profit forecast overshadowed an otherwise decent fourth quarter.

The bearish takeaway?
Never overlook the jockey when placing your bets. Like CAPS' sdowst understands, the quality of a company's management team can often predict how well it will perform as an investment. As value guru Bruce Berkowitz reminds us: "A bad person can cause you pain every time, no matter how good the company is. Management is important. They should have a paper trail of succeeding."

The final Foolish move
Investors often focus strictly on stock price movements, without realizing that developing a proper stock-picking process counts most.

Over at Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are Foolishly sharing insightful investment tips to help identify tomorrow's big movers. Over time, consistently reverse-engineering winning -- and losing -- stocks will help you retire wealthy.

Log in to CAPS today and start participating. It's absolutely free -- and a lot of fun!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Berkshire and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Berkshire is also a Stock Advisor selection, Melco is a Global Gains choice, and Ebix is a recommendation of Rule Breakers. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire and Ebix. The Fool's disclosure policy is always the big winner.